New research puts age of universe at 26.7 billion years, nearly twice as old as previously believed

I minored in physics and took many astronomy and astro mechanics classes and it has never made any sense to me that we base the age of the universe on how far we can see, but doesn’t account for the inevitable idea that there may be more out there that we just can’t see yet. Well, the further we can see (as better telescopes are put in orbit), the older the universe becomes!

I believe the universe is infinite (we’ll never be able to prove it of course unless we find an “end”–to disprove my belief). The current mainstream theory is there is an end (the universe is finite), so there must be a beginning as well. With that in mind, another silly idea is that as far back as we can see (distance) only goes in one direction (towards us and not accounting for expansion away from that point).

Anyway, it’s fun to try and get your head around it! What are your thoughts?

Why Virtual Reality Could Generate $150 Billion for Hollywood By 2020

At Facebook’s recent developers conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke enthusiastically about a virtual reality-filled future. Last year, the company paid $2 billion for VR pioneer Oculus. While photos are the most frequently shared content on Facebook, Zuckerberg sees Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality content taking the lead down the road.

“When you think about virtual reality, a lot of people first think about gaming. But I actually think video is going to be more engaging in a lot of ways,” Zuckerberg said during his keynote address.

…For the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, SNL teamed up with filmmaker Chris Milk to capture the event, using custom built VR cameras.

Milk also recently teamed up with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures to create a VR unit at the film production company.

“So many people watched that show on television,” Scogin said. “We wanted to capture that moment in history in a way that hasn’t been done before. I feel like this is a record of that night that fans of the show will have for years and years to come.”

NBC is not alone. Other content creators are busy experimenting with VR…

I’ve thought about developing/shooting a project in 360 degrees (the crew would have to be remote), but like everyone else, I’m unsure of its viability beyond a tailor-made for the medium project–well, at least until a MindScans type device becomes available.

What are your thoughts?

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How ‘Ebert’ are you?

Movie quiz: Learn how your taste in movies compares with Ebert’s, based on his reviews. Click through these 10 films and rate them — either “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”…

I’ve always found myself more often agreeing more with Roger Ebert than not, but for me the best part of watching/reading/listening to him was when I did disagree with him, his insight/point(s) were so valid that I’d often find myself being swayed to his side. I’ve said it before, his loss is great, but even more because there’s no one with his talent to fill his shoes. Take the quiz below and see how your opinions compare.

Your brain on movies: Why films make us cry, flinch and cheer

How are filmmakers able to push our buttons?

One way that we perceive emotion in film is through I process I call the Mirror Rule, which says that it’s a good idea to mimic the visual input that you’re seeing. So if you walk up to somebody and they smile at you, it’s good to smile back.

If you watch somebody in the theater and there’s a smiling face filling the screen, most of the audience is going to pop a little bit of a smile.

When we’re smiling, we tend to feel happier. When we’re frowning, we tend to feel angrier. So that combination of the Mirror Rule and the reading of emotion by the brain off the current state of the body is enough to produce emotion.

In film, a filmmaker has the opportunity to integrate those things very tightly. He can control exactly what’s shown of the face and what else is present. And the viewer has much less opportunity to walk away or focus on other things…

While I feel that movies are one of the most power things man has ever created (it can educate, inspire and change lives for good… or bad–witness war propaganda films), most people don’t realize how manipulative they really are. The abuse of the art has always been something that makes my blood boil. What is that saying? “With great power comes great responsibility.” ~Uncle Ben

Summer movies 2014: 5 things we learned

There certainly was plenty of destruction to go around. Not only were several cities destroyed, including San Francisco (“Godzilla”) and Chicago (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”), there was also the kind of destruction Hollywood hates: that of their receipts.
Summer ticket sales, as of the last week in August, were down 15% over summer 2013, according to The New York Times, quoting movie business tabulator Rentrak. For movies released in the May-August window, grosses were down a whopping 25% — $3.67 billion this year vs. $4.85 billion last year, according to…

Anyone surprised? Budgets go up, fewer movies are made, ticket prices go up (and concessions with it), rehashed stories/franchises, plus home theaters get better, and fewer go to the movies. Downward spiral.

Read more here:

4D Movie Theater Coming to LA

CJ Group, the South Korean company that runs Asia’s largest theater chain, recently signed a deal with AEG to open the first 4D theater in the United States. The theater in downtown L.A. will use wind, strobe, fog, rain and scent-based effects in sync with the movie on screen to create a fully immersive experience…

AFAIK, Touch and Smell are senses, not dimensions. Gotta love the marketing folks!!BLIMK

How Steven Spielberg Made Millions Off ‘Star Wars’ After A 1977 Bet With George Lucas

Spielberg and Lucas

Spielberg got 2.5% of “Star Wars” earnings after Lucas was worried it wouldn’t be a success.

A long time ago on a film set far, far away, two directors made a friendly bet about a small space-fantasy film called “Star Wars.”

Steven Spielberg would go on to win the bet and take millions of dollars from George Lucas over time.

Here’s how the out-of-this-world wager came to be…

Event Cinema (and its Association) Comes of Age – an Interview with Melissa Keeping

Event cinema came of age in 2013. It is difficult to pin-point one particular big screen event as the defining turning point, though not for lack of spectacular choice: there was Dame Helen Mirren’s blockbuster turn as the Queen in The Audience, as part of the NT Live season, in June; the same month that also saw the groundbreaking Pompeii Live from the British Museum; the Royal Shakespeare Company’s record-breaking Richard II in the autumn, followed by the unprecedented 3D screening of Dr Who: the Day of the Doctor in more than 1,500 cinemas across the world; or the on-going success of the Met Opera and other premium culture events beamed onto thousands of cinema screens globally…